Federico Villalba's Texas

by Casas, Juan Manuel

This gripping family memoir is a significant addition to the literature of the Big Bend, and the first to present its early years of settlement from the Mexican point of view.

This is the story of Federico Villalba who, as a young man, moved with his family from Chihuahua in the 1880s to begin ranching near Lajitas, Texas. He prospered and eventually crossed over the Rio Grande to settle and ranch. There, Villalba married, built his herd of cattle and angora goats, discovered cinnebar and opened a store at Cerro Villalba and a leather goods store. Federico Villalba's life was filled with excitement, challenge, and victory; nevertheless, tragedy also played a hand. The Big Bend country was a dangerous place in those days, especially for those of Mexican descent. Men carried guns and were not reluctant to use them. In a lively and engaging style, Juan Manuel Casas gives us this narrative history of his great-grandfather, Federico Villalba and his family. This is a significant contribution to the literature of the Big Bend and the first to represent the Mexican point of view in its early settlement.

2008
Iron Mountain Press, 303 pages
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